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Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun

Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun

The enormous mining excavation known as the Great Pit at Falun is the most striking feature of a landscape that illustrates the activity of copper production in this region since at least the 13th century. The 17th-century planned town of Falun with its many fine historic buildings, together with the industrial and domestic remains of a number of settlements spread over a wide area of the Dalarna region, provide a vivid picture of what was for centuries one of the world's most important mining areas.

Zone d'exploitation minière de la grande montagne de cuivre de Falun

L'immense excavation minière connue sous le nom de Grande Fosse constitue, à Falun, le trait le plus marquant d'un paysage qui illustre la production de cuivre dans cette région depuis le XIIIe siècle au moins. Aussi bien la ville planifiée de Falun, née au XVIIe siècle et dotée de plusieurs magnifiques bâtiments historiques, que les vestiges industriels et domestiques des peuplements disséminés sur une grande partie de la Dalécarlie offrent une image vivante de ce que fut, pendant des siècles, l'une des plus importantes régions minières du monde.

منطقة استخراج المناجم من جبل النحاس الكبير في فالون

تعتبر الحفريات المجمية المعروفة باسم الحفرة الكبيرة في فالون السمة الأبرز لمنظر يجسّد انتاج النحاس في هذه المنطقة منذ القرن الثالث عشر على الأقل. أما مدينة فالون المخططة العائدة الى القرن السابع عشر والمزودة بعدد من الأبنية التاريخية الجميلة وآثار المصانع والمنازل الخاصة بالسكان المنتشرين على جزء كبير من دلارنا فتجسد صورة حية لمنطقة اعتبرت لقرون طوال من اهم المناطق المنجمية في العالم.

source: UNESCO/ERI

法伦的大铜山采矿区

法伦大矿坑庞大的开采挖掘是其最惊人的景观,表现了该地区的采矿活动至少开始于13世纪。17世纪开始规划的法伦镇有许多精美的历史性建筑,加之达拉纳地区工业经济时代和家庭经济时代的大量居民遗址,展示给世人一幅几个世纪前世界上最重要的采矿区的生动画面。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Горнопромышленный район Большая Медная гора, город Фалун

Этот огромный горный карьер, известный как «Большая яма в Фалуне», является наиболее яркой приметой данного района, где, начиная ещё с XIII в., было развито медеплавильное производство. Заложенный в XVII в. город Фалун, с множеством прекрасных исторических зданий, старинных промышленных и жилых построек, разбросанных по обширной области Даларна, наглядно демонстрирует, что данный район на протяжении столетий являлся одним из важнейших в мире центров горнодобывающей промышленности.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Zona de explotación minera de la “Gran Montaña de Cobre” de Falun

La inmensa excavación minera conocida con el nombre de “Gran Pozo” es el rasgo más notable del paisaje de Falun, ilustrativo de la producción de cobre en esta región desde el siglo XIII por lo menos. Fundada en el siglo XVII y provista de magníficos edificios históricos, la ciudad planificada de Falun, así como los vestigios industriales y domésticos de los poblamientos diseminados en gran parte de la región de Dalecarlia, ofrecen una imagen vívida de la que fue, durante siglos, una de las más importantes zonas mineras del mundo.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ファールンの大銅山地域

source: NFUAJ

Mijngebied van de Grote koperberg in Falun

Het hele Falun landschap wordt gedomineerd door de overblijfselen van kopermijnbouw en -productie, die begon in de 9e eeuw en eindigde in de laatste jaren van de 20e eeuw. enorme mijnbouw opgraving – de Grote Kuil bij Falun – is het opvallendste kenmerk van het gebied. Falun geeft een levendig beeld van wat eeuwenlang een van ’s werelds belangrijkste mijngebieden was. De 17e-eeuwse stad bezit vele mooie historische gebouwen en industriële en huiselijke overblijfselen van een aantal nederzettingen verspreid over een groot gebied van de regio Dalarna. Het culturele gebied rond Falun staat bekend als Kopparbergslagen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): Copper mining at Falun was influenced by German technology, but this was to become the major producer of copper in the 17th century and exercised a profound influence on mining technology in all parts of the world for two centuries.

Criterion (iii): The entire Falun landscape is dominated by the remains of copper mining and production, which began as early as the 9th century and came to an end in the closing years of the 20th century.

Criterion (v): The successive stages in the economic and social evolution of the copper industry in the Falun region, from a form of “cottage industry” to full industrial production, can be seen in the abundant industrial, urban, and domestic remains characteristic of this industry that still survive.

Long Description

The Falun landscape is dominated by the remains of copper mining and production, which began as early as the 9th century and came to an end in the closing years of the 20th century. Falun was to become the major producer of copper in the 17th century and exercised a profound influence on mining technology and economy in all parts of the world for two centuries. The successive stages in the economic and social evolution of the copper industry in the Falun region, from a form of 'cottage industry' to full industrial production, can be seen in the industrial, urban, and domestic remains of this industry that still survive.

The Great Copper Mountain in Falun and its cultural landscape are an outstanding example of a technological ensemble with a historical industrial landscape and unique types of buildings and settlements. The Great Copper Mountain (Stora Kopparberget) is the oldest and most important mine working in Sweden and one of the world's most remarkable industrial monuments. The man-made landscape surrounding the mine is very remarkable and unique by Swedish and international standards. The World Heritage site consists of the Great Copper Mountain and several areas around it which make up Kopparbergslagen, with many furnace sites, waterways, ponds, canals, and ancient mining settlements.

The oldest surviving document relating to the Great Copper Mountain, which consisted of the underground mine, was issued in 1288, but scientific studies suggest that its origins date back to the 8th or 9th centuries. It is likely that the Swedish industry was upgraded at this time under German influence. There is considerable evidence of this in the form of the technology being applied, such as fire-setting and mine drainage, the origins of which can be traced to continental sources.

The 15th century was a time of unrest and armed conflict, protesting against trade restrictions and taxation. In 1531-34 several distinguished citizens of Falun were executed on the orders of Gustavus Vasa. During the 16th and 17th centuries the Great Copper Mountain was the mainstay of Sweden's economy, enabling it to become one of the leading European powers: Falun was producing 70% of the world's output of copper. The Great Copper Mountain was organized as a corporate operation, with free miners owning shares proportional to their interests in copper smelters. It may justifiably be considered to be the precursor of the later joint stock companies, and it is often referred to as 'the oldest company in the world.'

A cultural region known as Kopparbergslagen developed around Falun which is unique to Sweden. There were no fewer than 140 copper-smelting furnaces in the region at this time, and the free miners had their estates and manor-houses close to the furnaces. The agrarian landscape was dominated by grazing land and wooded pastures. Despite the high level of technology developed and applied in and around the Great Copper Mountain, there were inevitably accidents, and especially in the 17th century, when production was intensive. The copper furnaces were water-powered from as early as the 13th century: ponds, dykes and canals were constructed to supply the furnaces and the mines; the oldest surviving dam dates from the 14th century.

The town of Falun, with its 1646 gridiron street plan and the three districts of wooden houses, was the second largest city in Sweden at that time, with a population of some 6,000 people. As the demand for copper receded in the 18th and 19th centuries, production was extended to other mineral resources of the Great Copper Mountain, including sulphur, lead, zinc, silver and gold. In 1888 the old company was reconstituted as a modern limited company, Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB. The old copper furnaces were abandoned and large new factories were built, producing paper and sawn timber.

In the 19th century the Great Copper Mountain became Sweden's first tourist attraction and the company celebrated its seventh centenary in 1988. However, by 1992 all the viable ore deposits had been extracted and so mining ceased. By 1998 the only industrial activity remaining was the production of the traditional and very distinctive Falun red paint, used for the protection of the wooden buildings of Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The oldest surviving document relating to the Great Copper Mountain was issued in 1288, but scientific studies suggest that its origins date back to the 8th or 9th century. This was a period when there was considerable trade between Germany and Sweden and Germans settled in Sweden, and so it is likely that the Swedish industry was upgraded at this time under German influence. There is considerable evidence of this in the form of the technology being applied, such as firesetting and mine drainage, the origins of which can be traced to continental sources such as the Harz Mountains.

A charter of 1347 led to the creation of a distinctive manmade landscape. Miners were granted the right to establish new settlements in the forests without paying any compensation to the landowners. At the same time they were exempted from land or forest taxes and their properties could pass to their children.

The 15th century was a period of unrest and armed conflict. The "free miners" of the Great Copper Mountain played their full part in this, protesting against trade restrictions and taxation. This culminated in a major rising in 1531-34, as a result of which several distinguished citizens of Falun were executed on the orders of Gustavus Vasa.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Great Copper Mountain was the mainstay of Sweden's economy, enabling it to become one of the leading European powers. By the mid 17th century Falun was producing 70% of the world's output of copper. It was exported all over the world - for the roofs of the Palace of Versailles or for Spanish coinage, for example. The revenue from copper financed the disastrous involvement of Sweden in the Thirty Years' War (1618-48).

The Great Copper Mountain was organized as a corporate operation, with free miners (bergsmän) owning shares (fjärdeparter) proportional to their interests in copper smelters. The 1347 charter covered, inter alia, ore extraction, settlement, and trade within the region. It may justifiably be considered to be the precursor of the later joint stock companies, and it is often referred to as "the oldest company in the world."

A cultural region known as Kopparbergslagen developed around Falun which is unique to Sweden. There were no fewer than 140 copper smelting furnaces in the region at this time, and the free miners had their estates and manor-houses close to the furnaces. The agrarian landscape was dominated by grazing land and wooded pastures. A crop-rotation system with a five-year cycle, known as lindbruk or the Falun method, was developed here in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Despite the high level of technology developed and applied in and around the Great Copper Mountain, there were inevitably accidents, and especially in the 17th century, when production was at its most intensive. The most dramatic was that in 1687, when a massive landslip led to the creation of the Great Pit (Stora Stöten) there.

The town of Falun was founded in the 17th century: its population of some six thousand people made it the second largest city in Sweden at that time. The formal 1646 layout survives in the three districts of Gamla Herrgården, Östanfors, and Elsborg.

The copper furnaces were water-powered from as early as the 13th century, and the earliest water-powered hoisting gear was built in 1555 at Blankstöten, one of the open-cast mines. Ponds, dikes, and canals were constructed to supply the furnaces and the mines; the oldest surviving dam dates from the 14th century.

Many foreign scientists and businessmen visited Falun in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and all were very impressed by the enormous size of the mine, the smoke from the furnaces, and the remarkable structures related to the copper industry. The Great Copper Mountain became Sweden's first tourist attraction: the first recorded use of the word "tourist" is from 1824.

This was a leading centre of technological progress from the 16th century onwards. Among those who worked there and developed their research were the mechanical engineer Christopher Polhem and the chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius.

As the demand for copper receded in the 18th and 19th centuries, production was extended to other mineral resources of the Great Copper Mountain, including sulphur, lead, zinc, silver, and gold. In 1888 the old company was reconstituted as a modern limited company, Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB. The old copper furnaces were abandoned and large new factories built. Outside Falun itself the company had been acquiring iron mines and setting up iron and steelworks, and it became one of the major Swedish enterprises in this field. Another area was that of forestry, producing paper and sawn timber.

The company celebrated its seventh centenary in 1988. However, by 1992 all the viable ore deposits had been extracted and so mining ceased: the last round of shots was fired on 8 December 1998. The only industrial activity remaining is the production of the traditional and very distinctive Falun (Swedish) red paint, used for the protection of the wooden buildings of Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation